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National Parks of the American West

National Parks of the American West


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Overview

Dates & Prices

Start DateEnd DateOffersBrochure
Land Price
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Wed, Oct 07, 2020
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020
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Wed, May 19, 2021
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Wed, Jun 02, 2021
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Wed, Aug 25, 2021
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Wed, Sep 08, 2021
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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Las Vegas
Arrive at any time.
Activity: The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you're back in time to meet the group. Check for the meeting time on the welcome note at the hotel. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

Day 2: Las Vegas/Zion National Park
Depart early for Zion, Utah's oldest national park, and observe some of the most beautiful canyon country scenes in the United States. Catch the shuttle into the park with our CEO and hike to the Emerald Pools and hanging gardens.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Activity: Admire monumental sandstone cliffs of cream, pink, and red that tower into the sky. Experience diverse plant and animal life in this narrow slot canyon as the park transitions from desert to forest. Gaze at the awe-inspiring beauty of the high plateaus, striking towers, temples, mesas, and the earth's tallest-known sheer sandstone walls.
Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 3: Zion National Park
Enjoy a guided hike to the Narrows in Zion National Park. Splash and wade in the river that cuts through this stunning slot canyon. Witness the awe-inspiring beauty of the high plateaus, towers, temples, mesas, and the earth's tallest-known sheer sandstone walls of pinks and reds.
Activity: Take a guided hike to the Narrows in Zion National Park. Splash and wade through the cool river which cuts though this stunning slot canyon. You'll mostly be in up to your ankles and in some spots get waist-deep. The Narrows is one of the most popular hikes in Zion National Park, and is considered one of the world's best slot canyon hikes.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch

Day 4: Zion National Park/Page
This morning, hike through Bryce Canyon National Park, famed for its multi-coloured rock pinnacles called 'hoodoo'. Be sure to have your camera ready to snap shots of these spectacular, natural towers that cover the canyon floor. Continue on to Page, Arizona, home to Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and the beautiful Lake Powell.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Activity: See a sight like no other at this giant forest of stone made up of collection of massive natural amphitheaters. This park contains hundreds of thousands of eroded spires, pinnacles, and other shapes as far as the eye can see.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 5: Page/Grand Canyon National Park
Start the day with a visit to the incredible Antelope Canyon with a local Navajo guide. Located on Navajo land and accessible only with an authorized guide, this landmark is considered one of the most visually stunning slot canyon formations in the world. Take a short hike to Horseshoe Bend, then travel to the Grand Canyon and have lunch en route at a local Navajo food truck supported by Planeterra.
Activity: Named for the pronghorn that used to roam the land, Antelope Canyon is a natural sandstone cathedral created by years of flash flooding, wind, and rain. Tour this breathtaking canyon to discover beams of light, flowing rock walls, and spiral arches and soak in the natural beauty of this surreal place.
Activity: Take a short hike to this spectacular horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River. Stand atop steep orange-coloured sandstone cliffs and look out at Horseshoe Bend. Peer down more than 300m (1,000 ft) at the emerald river below.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Activity: Get off the beaten track for an authentic Navajo meal that gives back to the community at the Native Grill Food Truck. Although the Grand Canyon is one of the most popular destinations to visit in the USA, the Indigenous community living on Navajo land captures less than 7% of the $1.5 billion that this region sees annually. Your meal stop at this family-owned enterprise benefits 50 community members directly, with ripple effects throughout Navajo Nation.
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch

Day 6: Grand Canyon National Park
Spend the day exploring the Canyon with an expert from the Grand Canyon Conservancy Field Institute. Enjoy a walk along the South Rim discussing the unique geology and botany of the Canyon, as well as human history here. After, visit the Historic Village District viewing iconic park structures then continue down the Bright Angel Trail below the canyon rim and view two-thousand-year-old rock art and 250-million-year-old fossils. Also visit the historic Kolb Studio, home to photography pioneers Emery and Ellsworth Kolb, who shared with the world the first pictures of the epic Canyon.
Activity: As part of a specially designed experience for National Geographic Journeys travellers, spend a day with a researcher from the Grand Canyon Conservancy Field Institute. Begin with a walk with our expert along the South Rim to hear about the unique geology of the canyon and history of Native Americans here. Then visit the Historic Village District for a stroll past a number of iconic park structures including Hopi House, El Tovar Hotel, and Lookout Studio. Continue down the historic Bright Angel Trail to get a real sense of the feel of the canyon below the rim, viewing 2000-year-old rock art and 250-million-year-old fossils. Also visit Kolb Studio, the home and offices of photographer brothers Ellsworth and Emory Kolb from 1904 to 1976. National Geographic has long supported exploration of the Grand Canyon with the belief that celebrating and studying this iconic national park better equips us in protecting its many natural wonders.
Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 7: Grand Canyon National Park/Las Vegas
This morning, visit Lowell Observatory for a tour of the giant telescopes and to learn about the study of astronomy, as well as a lecture on Mars. Continue back to Las Vegas, but not before getting your kicks on Route 66 in Seligman, Arizona — the birthplace of this famed highway.
Activity: Take a trip back in time to the birthplace of Route 66. Established in the early 1900s as the first transcontinental highways in the U.S, Route 66 has a lot of history on it's original length of almost 2,500 miles. Starting in Chicago, Illinois and travelling through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, before ending at the ocean in Santa Monica California. The creation of the Interstate system bypassed the majority of Route 66, creating ghost towns along it's original route, though there are a few iconic Americana towns still delivering experiences from the past. Check out the historic general store, original motels, and don't forget to get your kicks!
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Activity: Visit the highly renowned Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona for a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility alongside an educator. Established in 1894 (making it one of the oldest observatories in the United States), this centre focuses on educating the general public in astronomical research. Learn about the Clark and Pluto telescopes and enjoy a presentation on their study of Mars. National Geographic has long supported space research and featured impressive images of our solar system in the pages of National Geographic magazine. As far back as the 1950s, National Geographic has provided funding to astronomers based at the Lowell Observatory to gather important photographic data of Mars.
Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 8: Las Vegas/Death Valley National Park
Leave the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas behind and travel to Death Valley National Park — the lowest, hottest, and driest place in North America. Marvel at the extremes of this landscape as you pass mountains, valleys, badlands, salt flats, dunes, and more.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Activity: The Death Valley is one of America's most extreme locations - from sand dunes and desert, to badlands, towering peaks, and a basin that actually registers below sea-level, this is sure to be an unforgettable stop. Hottest. Driest. Lowest. There's a bit of everything here on the border of California and Nevada.
Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 9: Death Valley National Park/Sequoia National Park
Before leaving the park, make a final stop at Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes and Father Crowley Vista Point. Walk along the trail to see Rainbow Canyon to one side, Panamint Valley to the other, and if we're lucky, fighter jets practicing between the cliffs. Continue around the Sierra Nevadas to Sequoia National Park.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Activity: Explore the otherworldly landscape of one of America's largest National Parks. The sand dunes here soar up to 100 feet tall, and have no marked trails due to the shifting sands. Keep a keen eye out for animal tracks along the dunes as well, which show just how full of life this seemingly desolate place can be.
Activity: One of Death Valley's best vantage points, this quick there-and-back trail brings you to a sweeping view of the valley floor, with views of Rainbow Canyon below. The local air force base often sends jets to practice flying through what is colloquially known as "Star Wars Canyon" so keep an ear out for potential fly bys!
Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 10: Sequoia National Park
Enjoy a full day to explore. Walk through California's Sequoia National Park and learn about these impressive giant trees on the trail alongside a naturalist. Drive to Big Tree Trail for an afternoon hike and learn about how National Geographic deeded tracts of giant trees in the heart of the park to the National Parks Service for safekeeping. This evening, we return to the park for an evening of stargazing with an expert from the Sequoia Parks Conservancy (SPC).
Activity: Walk through California's Sequoia National Park with a naturalist from Sequoia Parks Conservancy. Over 2.5 hours, learn about these impressive giant trees - some so big, they have names. The one called General Sherman is the largest known living single-stem tree on the planet. Then head to Big Tree Trail for an afternoon hike. In 1916, National Geographic deeded tracts of giant trees in the heart of the park to the National Parks Service for safekeeping. Keep your eyes on the lookout for the plaque commemorating the important work the National Geographic Society has done in protecting this treasure of a national park.
Activity: The night sky above Sequoia National Park offers one of California's most dazzling opportunities for stargazing, due to minimal light pollution and a higher altitude. Peer upward alongside an astronomy expert from the park who'll discuss the constellations, planets, and stars that fill the twinkling sky. (Weather permitting, of course.) G. H. Grovesnor, first full-time editor of National Geographic magazine, first fell in love with national parks while observing the stars here in Sequoia NP. Thanks to his subsequent involvement in the creation of the National Park Service in 1916, we're still able today to enjoy one of the most impressive dark skies above the Sierra.
Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 11: Sequoia National Park/Kings Canyon National Park
Take a spectacular drive through the park with stops along the way from Grant Grove through Kings Canyon to Cedar Grove. Watch as the scenery changes from sequoias to one of the deepest canyons in the USA. Carved out over hundreds of thousands of year ago by glaciers and continuing to deepen with the help of the Kings River. Keep a keen eye out for the endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, and the incredible wildlife that calls this place home.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Activity: Drive deep into the Sierra Nevada mountains and experience the natural splendour of Kings Canyon National Park. Marvel at the surrounding landscape as the ancient Redwood forests make way for the towering stone peaks and epic valleys as far as the eye can see. Get a closer look at the park with a variety of hikes and lookouts during this stop.
Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 12: Kings Canyon National Park/Yosemite National Park
Travel north through the Sierras to the south entrance of Yosemite National Park stopping at the trailhead to Sentinel Dome. Climb the trail for breathtaking 360-degree views of the park and a picnic lunch. Feel on top of the world with views of Half Dome, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, and the Valley floor below. Continue to Glacier Point for an even closer view of one of the most iconic sites in the park. Later watch Free Solo, a National Geographic film based on Alex Honnold and his quest to climb El Capitan without ropes or a safety net.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Activity: Picturesque valleys, vast wilderness, powerful waterfalls, elusive wildlife, ancient sequoias and more than 16 types of granite make up this internationally recognized national park. Hike the trails, get up close to ancient rock formations and take panoramic photos of this gorgeous landscape. Keep an eye out for black bears, deer, and coyotes.
Activity: This documentary follows the incredible world-first free solo (without ropes or safety features) of Yosemite's iconic El Capitan climbing wall. Watch as free climber Alex Honnold grapples with the route, his body and his mind to conquer this 7500 foot rock face.
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 13: Yosemite National Park
Join a Yosemite Conservancy naturalist-guide for a half day in Yosemite National Park. Learn about the human, natural, and geological history of the region from a local expert. Hike through the heart of Yosemite while highlighting flora, fauna, and discovering the historical significance of the park. Take in the iconic views and the hidden wonders made of granite and carved by glaciers. Enjoy the rest of the day on your own and choose to explore the majestic waterfalls, crystal clear lakes, lush green meadows, and walk among pristine groves in Yosemite. Keep an eye out for glacial erratics, rock climbers, and the diverse wildlife within the park. Opt to visit the Ansel Adams Studio or relax by the river with Half Dome as the backdrop.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Activity: Venture out into Yosemite National Park for a half-day excursion led by a Yosemite Conservancy naturalist-guide. They'll share their expert knowledge on the human history of the park, from American Indian traditions to legendary characters. They will also provide an insider's perspective on the park's most fascinating sites and share details of the flora, fauna and geological history of the area. Take in the breathtaking views with every step as you hike through this glacial valley, passing cliffs, waterfalls, and endless lush, dense forest along the way.
Free Time: Take advantage of a free afternoon in this stunning natural environment.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 14: Yosemite National Park/San Francisco
Drive through the Central Valley of California, stopping at a local farm stand to sample some of the region's best produce. Travel over the Bay Bridge on the way into one of America's most popular cities. Settle into the hotel before heading along the Embarcadero to Fisherman's Wharf for an optional sunset sail in the San Francisco Bay, past Alcatraz and underneath the Golden Gate Bridge.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Activity: Join your CEO for a driving tour through some of San Francisco's most iconic highlights. Take in the 360 degree view from the top of Twin Peaks, before driving through Golden Gate Park en route to Golden Gate Bridge. Have the opportunity to get out and walk across portion of the Golden Gate Bridge, for views of the city skyline in one direction and the Pacific Ocean in the other. Continue past the Palace of Fine Arts before getting out by historic Alamo Square to take a short walk to see the Painted Ladies, Victorian houses that make up "postcard row". Continue past Union Square en route to our hotel.
Free Time: Enjoy free time to discover San Fran!
Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 15: San Francisco
Depart at any time.
Activity: Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.
Meal(s): Breakfast

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Inclusions

Meals Included
14 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport
Air-conditioned private vehicle, hiking, walking.

Inclusions
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Grand Canyon Exclusive, Grand Canyon National Park Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Lowell Observatory Experience, Flagstaff Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Sequoia National Park Naturalist Hike, Sequoia National Park Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Sequoia Parks Conservancy Stargazing, Sequoia National Park Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Yosemite Naturalist Experience, Yosemite National Park Your G for Good Moment: Native Grill Food Truck Lunch. All national park fees. Zion National Park visit and guided hike. Bryce Canyon National Park visit. Antelope Canyon guided visit. Horseshoe Bend hike. Grand Canyon National Park visit. Route 66 stop. Death Valley National Park visit. Sequoia National Park visit. Kings Canyon National Park visit. Yosemite National Park visit. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

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Accommodations

Hotels (14 nts).

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

National Geographic Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.2
Accommodations
3.6
Itinerary
4.4
Professional Staff
4.8
Repeat with Operator
4.2
Value for Money
3.9

Ratings based off 42 reviews about National Geographic Tours - currently showing 2 reviews with comments only

Outstanding trip and tours with plenty of opportunities for planned and unplanned adventures. Knowledgeable, friendly, and capable guides who kept us moving while allowing adequate free time for exploring on one's own.

Affordable Tours was helpful, answered all questions, booked tour and all flights for us. Great experience! We will definitely book through AT again.


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